One way I’m able to keep my travel as affordable as possible is the use of hostels. Months ago, I spoke with my friend (and fellow Taj fan) Rachel  about hostel life.

Taj Mahal is the house a cat at the India House. He’s a crowd favorite who gets photographed more than that one Kardashien who takes selfies all the time. Any staff that leave the hostel gets Taj photo updates from current workers.


Rachel gives some good advice in the video below.


What to expect and not expect from a hostel.

Expect to meet some awesome people from all over the world. And then expect to share the bathroom and bunk beds with them.

Don’t expect all the amenities you’d have at the Ritz. (or even the Motel 6) Towels, soap, shampoo,etc… aren’t always provided.

Expect at least one snorer in a dorm room and have earplugs. (I just shove in my earbuds with Ted Talks boring me to sleep. After my program cuts off, I leave them in as a noise reducing agent.) And you might want to have a bandanna or sleeping mask to cover the eyes for when that person waking up for their 4:00 a.m. flight turns on the lights to pack.

Expect the bathrooms to be busy during peak hours. Wake up early, or shower at night to avoid the morning rush.

Don’t be afraid to say hello or introduce yourself. You’d be surprised how many friendships are created at Hostels. (I’m planning a trip to visit some friends from France that I met at a hostel.)

Expect to pay about $20-$60 for a night in a dorm room. The least expensive place I’ve stayed was $15 a night, but only because I received a cyclist discount.  (If you compare a $200-300 hotel to a $55 hostel bed in NYC, you’ll NYSee how to make your trip get the most bang for the buck!)

In addition to being a great traveler, Rachel is a world class whistler. Enjoy the video below. 

Rachel is currently traveling in Australia for a year working at different hostels and wowing people with her whistling skills. For more advice and some funny stories, check out Rachel’s blog Sleeping With Strangers  and learn about travel, hostels, getting lost, and finding street food.

Here’s a video of Taj bathing to jazz music. (Occasionally, it got pretty boring behind the desk and I had to entertain myself.)